Mark Twain: The Man Behind The Name | KCUR

Mark Twain: The Man Behind The Name

Oct 1, 2013

"All large political doctrines are rich in difficult problems — problems that are quite above the average citizen's reach. And that is not strange, since they are also above the reach of the ablest minds in the country; after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best." ~ Mark Twain

Credit UC Press

More than 100 years after his death, the words of Samuel Clemens still resound. In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date we look at two events of note concerning the man from Hannibal, Mo. First, Steve Kraske speaks with Kevin Mac Donnell, who last year filled a void that has stood for decades: how and when Clemens found the pen name "Mark Twain."

Then we turn to Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2 coming out this month. Joining Steve Kraske is co-editor Ben Griffin from the Mark Twain Papers and Project at the University of California, Berkeley. They talk about the massive undertaking of turning 5,000 pages dictated by Twain into what will be a three-volume work eagerly awaited by Twainians everywhere.


  • Kevin Mac Donnell is the proprietor of Mac Donnell Rare Books in Austin, Texas. He has over 30 years of experience in the rare book field including work as a university rare book librarian, published bibliographer, appraiser and library consultant. Last year his article, How Samuel Clemens found “Mark Twain” in Carson City was published in the Mark Twain Journal.
  • Benjamin "Ben" Griffin is co-editor of Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2 at the Mark Twain Papers and Project housed in the Bancroft Library at the University of California - Berkeley.